California Health Insurance – Independent Health Life Agent Verses Insurance Company In House Agent

You have just completed an online form requesting a free health insurance quote and moments later you are being inundated with phone calls from insurance agents hoping to get your business. Try not to become overwhelmed or annoyed by these “pesky sales people” because they are really not telemarketers. Most of them are well-trained state licensed professionals who can really help you make a good decision regarding which health plan is best and most affordable for your individual or group coverage needs.

You may be under the misconception that if you buy your health plan directly from the insurance company, and cut out the “middle person”, you will save money. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, insurance companies rely on agents for most of their business and that’s why they pay them commissions for bringing in customers. It does not cost a consumer one penny more to use a licensed California health insurance agent to obtain their insurance coverage.

There are many differences between California health insurance and other states including how it is applied for.

For example, while Blue Cross and Blue Shield are one company in other states, here in California, each is separate and applied to individually as Anthem Blue Cross of California and Blue Shield of California.

California health insurance law AB 1672 is an improvement over the federal HIPAA law that covers all states in that it includes the following with regard to California group coverage:

1. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions may change over to a new group health plan without an exclusionary period.

2. It allows small businesses and professional organizations to have access to health plans providing they have between 2 and 50 full time employees.

3. It keeps insurance rates from climbing after a claim is filed.

4. Employees who have health problems may change jobs or health plans without being rated higher for having pre-existing conditions.

That said, the very best health insurance agent for your individual and business needs is an “Independent Agent.” Why? Because they represent multiple insurance carriers, not just one. An independent agent can help you select the most appropriate cost-effective plan offering the most benefits for your dollar as available from the major carriers, rather than feeding you just one company’s line of health plans which may not suit your particular needs. Many people are too complacent and settle for what their current insurance company has to offer. They could use a good independent agent to sort through the many plans available from multiple insurance carriers to find and provide the best choice of options.

Another misunderstanding you may have is that insurance agents set the premium rates for the health insurance plans they sell. Thinking if you shop around you may get a better price for the same plan. Premium rates are based on your age, zip code or county in which you reside and are controlled completely by the insurance companies. Every agent uses the exact same rate guides set by the insurance companies. The condition of your health may affect your premium, which may be rated up after the insurance company’s underwriting department has reviewed your medical records. Again, the insurance company, not the agent, determines that outcome.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of having a good insurance agent representing you. Most consumers neither know nor understand the benefits of a health plan being offered and need the expertise of an agent to explain the benefits to them in full. For example, do you know what the difference is between an “out-of-pocket maximum” and an “annual deductible?”

An out of pocket maximum is the most you will have to pay in a given year for deductible and coinsurance for covered benefits before your insurance starts to pay 100% of most expenses until the year ends.

An annual deductible is usually the amount you pay each year before your health plan starts paying anything for covered services. Generally, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Certain services such as prescription drugs carry separate deductibles. Plans may vary and sometimes benefits will kick in before you have to meet the deductible.

A knowledgeable health insurance agent can be a guide through the maze and help you choose the right plan to meet your needs and budget while obtaining the most benefits for your dollars spent. An agent will also make clear how the benefits for a generic prescription may differ from the benefits for a brand prescription on a particular plan.

After you have a health plan in place, a good, caring agent will remind you to pay your premium on time so the insurance company doesn’t cancel you. Your agent can also be an enormous resource for assistance if you run into a problem with a health insurance claim. Instead of waiting on hold at the insurance company’s 800 number for thirty to forty- five minutes, call your agent and explain your problem and if you have chosen the right agent, you will get help and may save yourself lots of time and frustration, maybe even some money by having an expert in your corner where your best interests come first.

So next time you or someone you know, fills out one of those on-line forms for a health insurance quote and you get several phone calls from health insurance agents wanting your business, be grateful that a professional wants to help you for free to choose the right plan and you’ll have an important friend for life.

What is an Eldercare Mediator and Do I Need One?

Elder care mediation is a relatively new profession and one that will be increasingly needed as more boomers care for their aging parents and also as they become elders themselves. This article assumes that care of the aging parent is a new consideration, and that there is no on-going litigation or charges of abuse within the family.

In a study reported by Deborah B. Gentry, it was determined that nearly 40% of adult children acting as caregivers had serious conflicts with one or more siblings regarding the care of their parents. Many times, this was due to the lack of participation of one of the siblings, arguments over finances or disagreements on where Mom or Dad should live. With a help of a mediator, these issues can be sorted out in a private, non-threatening setting where the family (including the parents) meets together.

Eldercare mediators have taken classes in this type of mediation. They may be nurses, social workers, gerontologists or they may also be attorneys themselves. (If they are attorneys, they do not practice law during the mediation service.)

What does an eldercare mediator do?

they are a neutral 3rd party who helps with decision-making processes
they help clear up misunderstandings within the family by knowing the right questions to ask
they provide for expression of feelings and yet, keep the family on tract
they help the family heal hurts, avoid blame and self-pity
they help the family consider as many options as possible
they provide for future modification of the decisions made
all discussions in the process are confidential

Mediators do NOT:

Make any of the decisions themselves
Provide family therapy
Practice law

Who is involved in the meeting?

Parents and siblings should be present. The meeting may also include spouses, grandchildren, other close relatives, close family friends, caregivers, medical providers, pastoral leaders and lawyers.

What is discussed at the meeting?

This is up to the family members but some ideas for discussion include living arrangements and possible assistance for the parent(s), driving ability, end-of-life provisions, financial concerns, trust and estate issues, division of responsibility among the siblings, etc.

The advantages of hiring a mediator are that parents (or spouse) must give permission for the meeting to take place, thereby maintaining their dignity and autonomy by being involved as much as possible. Also, if help is needed, financial and task responsibilities can be divided up equally among the children (siblings) or a care contract for a sibling that volunteers to be the primary caregiver can be discussed. Obstacles are more easily overcome when using a mediator who can keep the family focused on the goal of caring for the parent (or spouse) in the best possible way. Family relationships are also improved because everyone is kept in the loop. Those siblings who are unable to attend due to physical constraints can participate by telephone or even on the internet.

The cost of an eldercare mediator is about $100.00 – $300.00 per hour but is a good investment in maintaining or building family unity and working to provide a good outcome for your aging parent(s) or loved ones.

Eldercare mediators can be found through state and local Area Agencies on Aging, attorneys specializing in elder law, geriatric care managers, Alzheimer’s Association (especially support groups) and the health department.

Dos and Don’ts When Completing Individual Health Insurance Application

If you do not have access to a group employer plan then the other option you have is to apply for individual health insurance plan. Individual health insurance application require more information from you then group health insurance plans that you might have had through job. The reason for that is that individual, and that applies to family health plans, are medically underwritten. That means that a person called medical underwriter will go over your medical application and decide if you are a good risk for the insurance company. The main reason for medical underwriting is to keep over all cost for every one low. The more insurance company has to pay out in claims the more they have to charge every one for health insurance to keep the average cost down.

If you have already had a chance to take a look at individual application then you probably know that it can be long. How much of the application you have to fill out depends on your previous medical history. If you are in perfect health then there is not much that you can write on your application other then some basic information. If you are some one who has been to the doctors for lab work, test or takes prescription medication then you would have to include that on your application. Most individual application require you to provide information of your doctor or the last doctor you have been to. If you are not sure of the name of the doctor you can always include the hospital name, clinic name or doctors practice name. When it comes for the dates of your last doctor office visit or any other dates. If you do not remember exact dates, just put down your best estimate.

The most important thing to keep in mind when filling out individual or family application, especially if you do have some medical issues, is to understand this. Until there is a permanent change to health care system and health insurance is not medically underwritten. Insurance company will consider every condition that you have and every medication that you take. The reason for that is that in most states in the US health insurance companies require to cover everything once you are approved. That means that all of your medical conditions and prescription drugs have to be cover by law once you have been approved for coverage. That is if you are approved. I hate to use this analogy because we a talking about human lives, but the simple way to explain health insurance is to compare it to car insurance. For example lets say you get in the minor car accident and you do not have car insurance. Your car is still derivable and it looks like you will need a new bumper and some paint. The next day you go out and purchase car insurance to cover your accident. Well we know it does not work like that. If you could just go out and get car insurance only after you had an accident then no one would pay for car insurance. Why pay if you can just get it after you had an accident. No one would pay for car insurance and car insurance companies would not exist. Then you would be fully responsible for all the damages out of your own pocket. I know I would rather pay that $100 a month just in case something does happen.

Most people do not recognize that health insurance works in the same way. Health insurance companies are not going to approve some one who requires immediate medical assistance. That includes pending follow up visits to the doctor, recent surgery (after a surgery a lot of complications can arise), prescription drugs and anything that is known upfront that could potentially be covered expense. Insurance companies use a “actuarial tables” to underwrite individual applications. If based on what you have put down on the application could potentially cost insurance company money, chances are your application will not be approved.

If health insurance companies automatically approved all the application then it would be the same scenario as with car insurance example, that no one would pay for health insurance. I know I would not, why pay for insurance if I can get it when I get sick. If no one would pay for insurance then there would no insurance companies to cover us for unforeseen large medical expenses. I am certainly not prepared to pay $400,000 or higher for medical emergency.

Getting approved for health insurance could take some preparation. If you are currently taking prescription drugs, find out how to can slowly get off them. I am not a doctor and certainly would never tell anyone to not take drugs that were subscribed by their doctor. I think sometimes great health starts with us, with small daily choice we make. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. When completing application sometimes being too honest can cost you also. That does not mean lying. Going to chiropractor and writing on the application that you have had back pains and you will need to see a specialist. On top of that is that you have not has any health insurance previous is just way to suspicious. It looks like you are trying to get health insurance to get medical care for something that you do not want to pay yourself. Do not make it worse then it is and always phrase everything in the positive. Instead of you writing that you are having back pain, taking Advil and going to chiropractor. Phrase it that you went to chiropractor for maintenance just to realigning your back. I see a lot of people get declined for coverage even though they are in perfect health just because how and what they wrote on the application.

Real people will be looking at your application if you are making it worse then it is or you are volunteering too much information then it is only your fault if you get declined. Your answers should be, everything is fine, just a check up, results were normal. Also before you know that you might be looking for health insurance do not go see your doctor until you do have coverage. If you go to the doctor and they find something “wrong” with you then bye, bye health insurance. Now you are stuck. When at the doctors office, again, be careful what you tell your doctor because it will end up in your medical records. When self diagnosing your self do not volunteer that information to your doctor, it is your doctors job to find if there is an issue. If you have been declined for health insurance there are options available to you so is having or not having health insurance. Having any health insurance plan is infinitely better then not having anything at all. It is a know fact that you will get a better treatment if the hospital knows that you have some way to pay for your medical care and that they are not just working for free taking care of you. The one and the most important thing that you can do is to take care of your health. Eat your broccoli.

Satisfying Dental Care Needs in Raleigh

If you are relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina or the Research Triangle Park area, this information may help you find the best dentist to provide the level of care most appropriate for you and your family.

How Accessible Are Dentists in Raleigh?

In Raleigh, dental care is much more accessible than it is in many other parts of North Carolina. Raleigh is located in Wake County, which is one of eight North Carolina counties with dentist-to-patient ratios that exceed the national average. Sadly, the state of North Carolina ranks 47th in the nation in terms of dentist-to-patient ratios. While the state ranks low for dental care availability, Raleigh residents have great access compared to the rest of the United States. By combining June 2009 figures from the North Carolina Dental Board with 2008 census figures for Raleigh, one can extrapolate that there is a ratio of about one dentist per 1,350 residents.

What Kind of Quality Can I Expect?

The quality of care (as well as the number of dental providers) in Raleigh is influenced by the nearby University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC. Raleigh, the Research Triangle Park area, and neighboring cities and counties have exceptional access to dental care, thanks in large part to the presence of graduates of this school.

Founded in 1954, the UNC School of Dentistry has a national reputation for both research and education. Each year, the school admits about 80 students to its DDS (doctorate of Dental Surgery) program, with about 80% of those being in-state admissions. In the United States, schools of dentistry – unlike medical and law schools – have no official rankings. However, UNC is typically a top contender on unofficial lists. The nationwide respect for the UNC School of Dentistry program helps to validate the quality of dental services being provided in Raleigh by graduates of that school.

The North Carolina Dental Board is the regulating body for providers of dental services in North Carolina. Its mission is to ensure that the dental profession merit and receive the confidence of the public and that only qualified persons be permitted to practice dentistry and dental hygiene in the state of North Carolina.
What Types of Dental Providers Exist?

While the North Carolina Dental Board is the regulatory body, the North Carolina Dental Society is a professional organization that promotes the improvement of the public’s oral health and the art and science of dentistry. It encourages the maintenance of high standards of practice and competency, and represents the interests of members of the dental profession and the public that it serves. While membership in the professional organization is not mandatory, the North Carolina Dental Society provides figures that give some insight into the distribution of different types of providers of dental care in Raleigh. Raleigh members include dental providers in these commonly used categories: General Practice (142), Orthodontists (17), Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery (11), Endodontists (9), Pediatrics (8), Periodontists (7). June 2009 figures from the North Carolina Dental Board indicated that 264 dentists in Raleigh were licensed to practice General Dentistry. The combination of these two sets of numbers should provide for rough extrapolation on the number of specialized providers.

What Are the Emerging Trends in Dental Care?

In Raleigh, the provision of dental services is beginning to change, thanks to the progressive thinking of some dentists. This change involves making a broader range of dental care services available under a single roof. General dentists willing to invest in appropriate training can offer a broader range of dental care services, a concept sometimes referred to as Comprehensive Dentistry. Some also include Cosmetic Dentistry services. Having services provided under a single roof also eliminates the need to obtain consents and transfer dental records from one practice to another.

This emerging model for dental care in Raleigh has distinct advantages – one being that the dentist most familiar with the patient’s dental care and preferences can provide most, if not all, of the needed services in a familiar environment. A familiar environment can help to reduce the anxiety that some patients experience when they have to go to a (new) specialist to receive needed services. (Be assured that general dentists who provide a broader range of dental services do refer very complex cases to appropriate dental care specialists who focus on only one very specific dental care issue, and whose skills may be needed in those particular situations.)

Since specialists in Raleigh are not nearly as accessible as general dentists (see figures above), general dentists who offer a broader range of services can help provide more timely treatment for many “non-routine” dental needs (e.g., wisdom tooth extraction, periodontal treatments, orthodontics). Ask any prospective provider of dental care in Raleigh to explain the range of services the practice is making available to you, as well as the specific credentials of the dentist(s). You may also want to ask whether the practice is accredited by the state of North Carolina to perform sedation dentistry, because the state recently enacted guidelines and an accreditation process to ensure public safety in the administration of sedation in dental practices.

Fast Food and Fat Food

There are two sides of the same coin. You may have heard arguments on both sides regarding healthy foods and fast foods. You may have asked yourself one time or another, are all fast food fat foods? Can you binge on fast food without worrying about your health? How can you eat fast food and still stay healthy?

The United States is the leading country when it comes to obesity. The country is top three in the world in terms of existing fast food chains. When you put two and two together, you get to the conclusion that the popularity of fast food restaurants is affecting the health of the consumers.

McDonald’, one of the famous fast food chains in the world, faced a lawsuit in 2003 when parents of a teenage girl claimed that the fast food restaurant is responsible for their daughter’s health problems. Although the case was dismissed, it started the battle of fast food restaurants against health experts.

Obesity is not something to laugh about. It can lead to all sorts of complications such as diabetes mellitus type 2, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and, of course, cardiovascular diseases. Aside from that, being on the heavy side can make a person the butt of jokes which ultimately results to social outcasts and suicidal attempts. Sedentary lifestyle and overeating are the main reasons why there are people who are considered obese.

You should be familiar with the daily calorie intake. Your calorie intake highly depends on your weight and lifestyle. On average, health specialists stated that the daily calorie intake for women is 1200 calories while it is 1800 for men. Generally, one fast food meal has around 1000 calories.

Most of the food offered by fast food restaurants are deep-fried or heated up in the microwave. These processes of food preparation take minimum time unlike home cooked meals. As a result, most fast food products have high calories and are practically swimming in trans-fat.

If you take all of these into consideration, then yes, fast food is fat food. Health experts have grounds why they are against eating fast food products. On the other hand, it does not mean that you have to forego fast food altogether to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fast food restaurants were a hit because they serve food in minimum time, in good taste, and in lesser price. So how are you going to make the two ends meet?

When health issues were raised, fast food restaurants come up with possible solutions to make their menu appealing to health buffs. They added salads, fresh fruit, and white meat to widen the selection of their consumers. Also, nutritional facts are made available so that people would have an idea how many calories are in their orders. These restaurants are doing their part but why is it that they are still being blamed?

It all boils down to you as a consumer. If you want to live a long life, you should know when to stop eating fast food. Moderation is the key. You cannot have burgers and fries all the time. If you can’t stay away from fast food, check out the other side of the menu. Instead of a Big Mac, why don’t you order a regular burger? If a regular burger is not good enough for you, just avoid add-ons like cheese, bacon, or mayonnaise sauce. Other add-ons can be tasty without the fat like onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mustard. Skip additional toppings in your pizza. Even though a slice of chocolate cake makes your mouth water, better order a low-fat yogurt or ice cream for dessert. Lastly, forget about the up-size promo. It will save you from calories and save a few pennies too.

Balanced diet is pretty elementary. As long as you know how to balance your intake, you’re good to go. The next time you crave for some fast food, indulge yourself. Just make it a point not to have the urge every day of the week.

How to Detect Drug Abusing Teenagers

The effects of substance abuse in teens are not only individual; they can also be seen on the society. They may face problems at school or college and may involve in criminal activities. It is therefore very important to detect drug abusing teenagers. Drug testing should be conducted on a regular basis at schools and homes to identify and save them from harmful drugs of abuse.

Signs of drug abuse
Identifying certain signs helps you to detect if the kid is addicted to the drugs. Some of the common physical and emotional signs are:

• Change in sleep patterns
• Poor motor coordination
• Poor hygiene and illness including nausea and excessive sweating
• Irregular heartbeat
• Impaired thinking
• Mood swings
• Hyperactivity or overtired
• Depression

Drug abusing teens lose their interest in family activities, often abuse verbally and physically at home or school, and disrespect the family or school. In addition, abrupt decrease in grades, memory and attention loss, and lack of interest and concentration on studies are some of the signs at school. The moment you observe any of the above mentioned signs, you need to immediately check if the kid is abusing drugs. Drug testing is one of the safest and easiest ways to detect the drug abuse among teens.

Types of drug tests
There are different types of methods to detect the teens who are using drugs. Some of the common ones are urine, saliva, hair, and blood tests.

Urine drug test
Of all the types, urine testing is used most commonly as it is inexpensive method used to detect a drug user. You can use urine test kits at home or school to check if the child is addicted to illegal drugs. Quick and accurate results are obtained by these test kits.

Saliva drug test
It is more advantageous as it is relatively non-intrusive. Saliva from the mouth is taken through a swab and is checked for the presence of drugs. Most recent drug abuse can be detected by saliva tests. Conducting saliva test is very easy and also provides accurate and immediate results.

Hair drug test
This method is also non-intrusive. A hair sample of 1.5 inches in length is enough for conducting the test. Drug or its metabolites deposited at the hair shaft are detected by hair tests. You can get very reliable and accurate results by this method.

Blood drug test
You can also use a blood sample of the teen to detect illegal drug usage. It is however expensive and you need to approach laboratory as you cannot conduct it at your home.

Detection periods
The detection period depends on the method of test conducted. These detection periods vary from the type, dosage, and frequency of drug used.

Urine drug test can detect drug or its metabolites for 30 days in frequent users and for 2-3 days in occasional users. The test detects Cocaine for 4-5 days, Heroin for 2-4 days, Methamphetamine for 3-5 days, PCP for 3-7 days, and Codeine for 2-4 days.

A saliva test is mostly used to detect recent drug usage. However, it can also detect drugs consumed 3 days back. Of all the methods, hair drug test has a longer detection period. It detects illegal drug consumption for about 90 days.

What if results are positive?
Once the kid is tested positive by drug test kit, talk to him/her about the result. You can get a confirmatory result through laboratory tests. Communicate with him regularly regarding the effects of drug abuse. Ask him to leave companions or friends who are habituated to drugs. If necessary, send him/her to substance abuse treatment program.

Importance of intervention
Detection and intervention of drug abuse at primitive stages can prevent further damage. Drug intervention is an attempt made by family members or school authorities to help the teen get out of drug abuse or addiction. The main objective of intervention is to make the teen understand the physical and mental destruction caused by drug abuse. If you are not able to speak to the kid on this, you can take help of your friends or relatives. You can also consult specialists who counsel drug abusers and help them get back to their normal life.

Parents and school authorities should always keep an eye on the behavior and activities of the teens. Necessary measures have to be taken in order to prevent them from taking drugs.

How To Treat Hemorrhoids In Children – Care and Safety for Kids

Hemorrhoids concern is hard enough to deal with for adults, what more if this condition begin to affect and intrude in the daily routine of children? Now that is a kind of problem that no parent would like their children to have, however sometimes no matter how hard we try to keep our kids at top condition, problems like hemorrhoids cannot just be avoided. In this case, learning how to treat hemorrhoids in children is the next best move any parent can have, the delicacy of the young’s position in treating the situation of swollen rectal blood vessels.

How to treat hemorrhoids in children? This is a question that all mothers and even fathers would definitely want an answer to. But before we get into that, it would perhaps be good to explain first what causes hemorrhoids, so that we can easily address their solution. Well, hemorrhoids are somewhat similar to varicose only that this condition of swollen blood vessel occurs in the general area of the anus around the rectal canal to be more precise.

This sickness is the common result of the pressure on the veins of the anus during defecation. It is not clearly defined by any medical practitioner, what really causes these swellings to occur only that there are factors that usually the reason for their appearance. The factors that lead to hemorrhoids may vary from constipation, diarrhea, smoking, frequent drunkenness, pregnancy and giving birth among others. In the case of children it is obvious that the last four reasons enumerated earlier on could not be applied in the case of children.

In the case of kids it is usually a matter of the first two reasoning happening often due also to the food intake and kind of diet children have. We all know that very young children often have very poor diet, and as such may contribute to the development of hemorrhoids or piles.

Now to the go to the issue on how to treat hemorrhoids in children, here are a few tips to take note of:

a) Allow children to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day. In the case of children given their active days it is advisable that they increase their intake of water for better body process and easier time taking a poop.

b) Add fiber rick food in their diet. Children often eat more of meat products as they do vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately bought fruits and vegetables are rich in not only vitamins, but also fiber which is important to make defecating easy for them.

When Can Mom Get Child Care Costs?

“If mom is not working, no child care,” insisted Deputy District Attorney Roye Randall of Los Angeles County at the pre-hearing interview of a mother of three, seeking modification of child(ren) support from the father through the County of Los Angeles Child Support Services Department.

Mandatory Child Care
Related To Employment:

The mother, as the other parent represented by this Author, in the proceedings for modification of child(ren) support before Department 2G, Com. Anthony B. Drewry presiding, (Com. H.M. Webster retired in April 2009) against the father as respondent, was willing to split monthly children care costs of $1,056.00 (at $88 per week per child).

But the father objected to child care costs and yet asserted that mom should be working. But mom has three children, 10, 9, and 7 years of age, and a fourth child, 1 year old, with another partner, who is living with mom and the four children.

With four young children, mom is a full time homemaker without time to look for work, nor study, nor train for work, nor actually work. Should the rule on child care costs be changed to provide child care costs to allow mom to look for work and hopefully find work?

Indeed, Section 4062(a)(1) of the Family Code provides for child care costs as mandatory add-on, if “related to employment or reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills” of a parent.

Pros and Cons On Changing
Child Care Rule:

The proposed change in child care costs rule is for the non-custodial parent to provide child care costs to allow the not-working custodial parent to look for work for a reasonable length of time.

Otherwise, the rule perpetuates the status quo, with mom unable to pursue her work or career development, and dad liable for more non-custodial parent’s basic child support according to the Family Code guidelines.

If mom is able to work and earn income, she would be able to contribute to child care costs. And dad’s basic child support payment would be lessened due to mom’s income according to the guidelines.

On the contrary, if the rule of no child care costs for a non-working mom is retained, mom would be a better child caregiver than any other care-provider unrelated to the child. And the dad would not be burdened with paying child care costs in addition to the basic child support payment.

Child Support
Deviation Guidelines:

The guideline formula for computing basic child support is stated as an algebraic formula in Family Code Section 4055(a), as: CS=K[HN-(H%)(TN)]. CS= child support amount; K= amount of income to be allocated for child support as stated in Family Code Section 4055(b)(3); H%= percentage of time the high earner parent has or will have physical custody of the child, compared to that of the other parent; and TN= total net monthly disposable income of both parties.

As a matter of practice, California family law courts arrive at the basic and additional child support payments by using the DISSOMASTER software, where relevant entries from the Income and Expense Declaration of each parent are entered, pursuant to standards contained in California Rule of Court 1258 (renumbered Rule 5:275).

After the formula child support is computed, the court may deviate from the formula amount of support by considering one or more of the five codified factors of: (1) parties’ stipulation to a different amount of child support; (2) deferred sale of family residence whose rental value exceeds mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes; (3) parent’s extraordinary high income and formula amount of support exceeds needs of the child; (4) non-contribution to needs of the child commensurate with the parent’s custodial time; and (5) special circumstances causing application of the formula to be unjust or inappropriate, stated in Family Code Section 4057(b).

Mandatory and Discretionary
Add-ons To Child Support For
Child Care:

Family Code Section 4062(a) states the two (2) mandatory add-ons to child support, as “(1) child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills” of a parent; and “(2) reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children.”

And the two discretionary add-ons under Family Code Section 4062(b) are: “(1) costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children;” and “(2) travel expenses for visitation.”

The aforesaid add-ons are considered additional support for the children; and such child care costs may be apportioned one-half to each parent, or a different apportionment, if requested by either parent, in proportion to their net disposable incomes, pursuant to Family Code Section 4061.

Conclusion:

Whether mom or a custodial parent can get child care costs pursuant to Family Code Section 4062(a) and (b) depends on whether the child care costs are mandatory or discretionary add-ons to basic child support.

As mandatory, the Family Law Judge or Commissioner has no discretion not to grant child care costs related to employment or necessary education or training for employment skills for a parent and uninsured health care costs for the child

As discretionary, child care costs related to educational or other special needs of the children and travel expenses for visitation, the Judge or Commissioner may decide one way or the other, as long as no abuse of discretion is committed.